Posted by: Joe English | July 6, 2008

Olympic Trials: Gay falters in 200M; extent of injuries unclear

EUGENE, ORE.–Tyson Gay tumbled to the ground 14 strides after the start of his 200-metre quarter-final heat at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials yesterday and had to be wheeled off the track. The extent of any injuries is currently unknown.

Running in the seventh lane, Gay, 25, was speeding to the lead in the first turn, but on his 14th stride, something went wrong. He went airborne, fell, then lay on the ground in pain, grabbing his left thigh and grimacing.

Officials from USA Track and Field said Gay pulled up with a severe cramp in his hamstring. Gay was scheduled for an MRI as a precaution.

“There is no apparent damage otherwise, except for some road rash from the fall,” Wetmore said. “He said he felt a little tightness before the race.”

Gay already has qualified for the Olympics in the 100 metres. His availability for Beijing will be determined by the severity of his injury.

But he won’t be running in the 200. Trials rules call for the top three finishers to make the Olympic team – no exceptions.

This was a stunning setback for the sprinter, who last week set the American record in the 100 at 9.77 seconds. In finals, he ran it in 9.68, the fastest time ever recorded, but not a world record because wind conditions during the run.

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